As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

PRK: versus LASIK


PRK versus LASIK. In one corner of the ring, you have a brush. In the other corner, you have a flap. This is the difference.

In LASIK, the "flap" is surgically cut and lifted to allow the laser access to the lens. Then, the flap is replaced and the patient only has a scar to heal. The patient can see nearly perfectly right away because the vision is undisturbed.  

In PRK, a "brush" is used to scrub away the cells on the cornea to allow the laser access to the lens. Sounds horrible right? Ya, I agreed. Until I had it done.

The “brush” is like a small floor buffer. It is black, small and the size of your cornea so it completely blocks your vision. You don’t even know they are scrubbing your eye (you are also completely numb from these great eye drops). You don’t feel a thing! I kept thinking, how nice, they are polishing my eye!

The brushing lasts like 30 seconds. It’s really fast and totally comfortable. Your eyelashes are propped open with a little springy clip. They keep your eyes moist with drops so you don’t even know you’re not blinking.

After the brush, they line up the laser and turn it on. All the hype about the laser's noise and smells is crazy talk. The laser sounds like a soft knocking on a wooden door. The “smell” everyone talks about is just the ozone being emitted from the laser. I didn’t smell a thing. There’s no smell of skin burning or whatever people say.

In a long run battle between PRK and LASIK, LASIK's flap will win when it comes to quick recovery but loses (supposedly) in the risk of the flap shifting or lifting and in the resulting dry eyes. The PRK's brush will win when it comes to no risk of a shifting flap but loses in the longer recovery time. Recovery is an individual thing and each person will heal a bit differently. But, there are many (MANY!) things you can do to speed up this recovery. It just takes a bit of planning and preparation. I will explain this in my next pre-operation post.

So, why did I choose PRK over LASIK? The military prefers PRK for all members. They only use LASIK when the patient isn’t a good PRK candidate (whatever that means). So, I really didn’t have a choice.

1 comment:

Susan Headrick said...


Thanks for sharing!

Lasik or PRK both are the same just yet they are different. LASIK is one of the safest and most effective vision correction procedures and Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), also called Surface Ablation, is an outpatient laser vision correction surgery procedure, similar to LASIK. If you are a PRK Candidate then read more on how to recover from PRK surgery and find out how PRK surface ablation could restore your sight and help you see better from Dr. Tracy at Carlsbad Eye Care.